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News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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California 18, Brown 14, U.s. 10, Suarez 5, Jack Markell 5, Us 5, Delaware 5, New York 5, Pakistan 4, David Keane 4, United States 4, Spencer Michels 3, Jerry Browne 3, Jerry Brown 3, Biden 3, Lance Armstrong 3, America 3, France 3, Afghanistan 2, Pbs Newshour 2,
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  PBS    PBS News Hour    News/Business. Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff,  
   Jeffrey Brown.  (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    January 15, 2013
    5:30 - 6:30pm PST  

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: in a move to cut down on gun violence in the united states, president obama will announce an initiative tomorrow to include restrictions on guns and ammunition. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the administration proposals and on measures being discussed in several state
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legislatures. >> woodruff: plus we have two separate interviews about the gun debate, with delaware governor jack markell and national rifle association president david keene. >> brown: then, spencer michels asks california governor jerry brown if his fiscal turnaround-- from a $27 billion deficit to a balanced budget-- offers a lesson for the nation. . >> you have to make tough choices. you have to live within your means. that means you have to not do everything you want to but you also have to raise more money. >> woodruff: and ray suarez examines a surge in suicides by u.s. troops last year, far exceeding the number killed in combat in afghanistan. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> sailing through the heart of landscapes and river you see differently.
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you get close to iconic landmarks, to local life, to cultural treasur. it's a feeling that only a river can give you. these are are journeys that change your perspective on the world. and perhaps even yourself. viking river cruises. exploring the world in comfort. >> bnsf railway. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life. >> a with thengog suport these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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>> woodruff: president obama will lay out his strategy tomorrow for stopping deadly attacks involving guns. that word came today, amid reports that he's considering 19 administrative policy changes, as well as congressional aion. it's been just over a month since 20 children and six adults died in the school shooting in newtown connecticut. and now the president is ready to announce proposals on gun violence. that could include executive action, ordering steps such as stricter penalties for lying on a gun background check or tougher penalties for gun trafficking. but spokesman jay carney said today that it's up to congress to take more sweeping steps. >> there are specific legislative actions that he will continue to call on congress to take. including the assault weapons ban, including a measure to ban high capacity magazine clips
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including an effort to close the very big loopholes in the background check system in our country. >> woodruff: the president will draw on recommendations from vice president biden who has met with everyone from victims' groups to the national rifle association. in he meantim some states are forging ahead on their own. the new york legislature moved today to adopt the nation's toughest gun control bill. the measure broadens the definition of assault weapons under an existing ban and limits ammunition magazines to seven rounds. it also creates a registry for all private gun sales, and it requires that mental health professionals report patients who make credible threats to commit a gun crime. >> i am proud to be a new yorker today. i a proud to be part of this government. not just because new york has the first bill but because new york has the best bill.
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this is a complex multifaceted problem. this is a comprehensive bill that addresses the full panorama and spectrum of issues that come up. >> woodruff: other leaders, including new york city mayor michael bloomberg, have joined the call for action this week at a summit on gun violence in baltimore. >> the rate of firearms homicide in america is 20 times higher than it is in other economically advanced nations. we have got to change that. and it has to start this week. with real leadership from the white house. >> woodruff: maryland and delaware are also weighing new laws, as two new polls show national support for more gun control. the pew research center found a majority favors banning assault weapons and tracking gun sales. and a "washington post"/abc news survey out today fod more tan half ofamericans support a ban
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on assault weapons while nearly two-thirds would ban high capacity magazines. 55% say they are for placing armed guards in schools, a measure favored by the national rifle association. violent video games have also been mentioned by both the n.r.a. and the white house as a concern. but today there was new controversy over the n.r.a.'s new practice range app for i-pads and i-phones, recommended for ages 4 and up. all of this has gun and ammunition sales and attendance at gun shows have grown dramatically in the month since newtown. president obama addressed that phenomenon at his news conference yesterday. >> those who oppose any common sense gun control or gun safety measures have a pretty effective way of ginning up fear on the
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part of gun owners that somehow the federal government is about to take all your guns away. there's probably an economic element to that. it obviously is good for business. >> woodruff: the president unveils his proposals tomorrow morning. he will be join by children who wrote him letters after the newtown attack. >> brown: we'll have two views of the gun >> brown: we'll have two views of the gun debate coming up, from delaware governor jack markell and n.r.a. president david keene; plus, no more red ink in california's budget; and a record number of military suicides. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: former cycling great lance armstrong was back at the center of a media storm today. it was widely reported that he has now publicly admitted to doping. armstrong's statements came in an interview with oprah winfrey taped monday. she did not release direct quotations or sound. instead on cbs this morning she
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said armstrong had been forth coming. >> i felt that he was thoughtful. i thought that he was serious. i thought that he certainly had prepared mself f this moment. i would say that he met the moment. at the end of it, two-and-a-half... literally two-and-a-half hours, we both were pretty exhausted. i would say i was satisfied. >> sreenivasan: at the same time winfrey said armstrong did not come clean in the matter that i expected. the interview came several months after the u.s. anti-doping agency issued a damning 1,000-page report that accused armstrong of master minding, quote, the most sophisticated professionalized and successful doping program that sports has ever seen. while he led the u.s. service team. since then armstrong has been banned from professional cycling for life, stripped of his seven tour de france titles and lost most of his endorsements. the 41-year-old athlete and
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cancer survivor was also forced to leave the live strong charity he founded. he apologized to its staff yesterday in austin, texas, before the interview. some of his fans there voiced disappointment today. >> we watched him win seven times. we all just stood in amazement. now to find out that it was based on lies, you know, it hurts all of us. >> sreenivasan: there was outrage from some in the world racing community. >> there are so many riders that have stayed true to their morals, have written clean and never had the opportunity to stand on the top of the podium or in some cases never even got on to breaking into the professional scene. now lance armstrong and his people similar to him have taken away whole careers from people. >> sreenivasan: the world anti-doping agency said today that armstrong must confess in full under oath if he wants a reduction in his lifetime ban. the oprah interview airs in two parts on our television network
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thursday and friday nights. >> sreenivasan: democratic senator chuck schumer will back president obama's choice of chuck hagel for defense secretary. schumer said today the former republican senator has now addressed claims that he's anti- israel, among other things. california democrat barbara boxer also issued a statement of support. the backing of two prominent jewish senators is expected to help hagel ease concerns among other, pro-israel lawmakers. a major debt rating agency warned today the u.s. could lose its top credit status if there's a delay in raising the debt ceiling. the federal government is expected to exceed its borrowing limit by march, unless congress acts. if fitch does downgrade u.s. debt, it would join standard and poor's, which took that action in 2011 during the last debt ceiling debate. the u.s. house moved to pass a hurricane sandy relief bill this evening. $17 billion would go for immediate recovery in the affected northeastern states. another $33 billion is for long- term spending. some republicans argued that
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much of the money isn't for emergency relief at all. california's tom mcclintock called for stripping that funding out. >> according to the congressional budget office, more than 90% of this money won't even be spent this year. that's not emergency relief. $16 billion is to quintuple the size of the community development block grant program. that's the slush fund that pays for such dubious projects as doggie day care centers and doesn't even have to be spent in the hurricane area. >> sreenivasan: other republican >> sreenivasan: other republicans joined with most democrats to reject offsetting spending cuts. instead, lawmakers from the northeast urged the house to pass the storm aid now. new york democrat hakeen jeffries said it's already taken too long. . >> it's unacceptable given the nature of the disaster that people at home have experienced. we have defaulted on our obligation to provide assistance to americans in need. we're a day late and a dollar short. in fact, we're 78 days late and
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$51 billion short. >> sreenivasan: the senate approved a $60 billion aid bill at the end of the last congress. but house speaker john boehner delayed action at the time, sparking an outcry from congressmen of both parties. more than 80 people were killed and dozens wounded in syria today. opposition activists said they died when twin explosions ripped through a university in aleppo. the first day of exams turned into a scene of chaos as people ran from the carnage. cars went up in flames, and the school's grounds were littered with debris. it was unclear what caused the explosions, but activists blamed government forces, who in turned pointed at rebels. political turmoil in pakistan deepened today, as the country's highest court called for the prime minister to be jailed. the decision came amid mass protests demanding that the entire government be dissolved. we have a report from jonathan rugman of independent television news. >> reporter: this afternoon thousands in islamabad celebrated their prime minister's downfall. after pakistan's supreme court
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ordered his arrest on charges of corruption. prime minister roger ashraf, no longer whiter than white and now facing arrest for allegedly taking millions from contract kickbacks. and this was the preacher breaking the news. dr. mohammed l. cadry a moderate sufi claire i can in a pin striped suit. his message of change is to dangerous to him that it comes from inside a bullet-proof metal box. >> this is peaceful revolution. this is democratic revolution. >> in order to... reporter: earlier armed police fired tear gas and light ammunition into the air to keep protestors back from the center of power. afterwards dr. cadry showed the spent cartridges from behind his bullet-proof glass. he's clearly relishing the fight.
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this claire i can said he never parliament to save pakistan from collapse but it's a mark of how weak this government is that a crowd of thousands of people (inaudible) from office. but the prime minister spokesman claims the scales ofjustice have been rigged, that the court is in cahoots the army in a plot to topple pakistan's government. and we don't know if these hundreds of soldiers still defending that government tonight will support the protest against it. and once again sees power. >> sreenivasan: in mali today, france stepped up military moves to stop an advance by islamic fighters tied to al-qaeda. the french defense ministry said it's tripling the number of ground troops to be deployed to 2,500. that followed an all-night air raid against the central town of diabaly. it was seized by the rebels yesterday, despite the french bombing campaign. meanwhile, u.s. defense secretary leon panetta said the u.s. is looking for ways to help the french. he spoke in portugal.
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no consideration of putting american boots on the ground at this time. we have commended the french for this effort. the united nations has supported what the french are doing. and our hope is that we can work with the french to provide whatever assistae we can >> sreenivasan: france had originally said it would mainly provide support for a military intervention by mali's african neighbors. those countries have pledged thousands of troops to the campaign. 2012 was the earth's tenth warmest year on record and marked the hottest year for the contiguous united states ever. that's according to scientists at the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, which has recorded global temperatures for more than 13 decades. the u.s. had its hottest year ever but cooler weather elsewhere kept the global average from being even higher.
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wal-mart rolled out a plan today to hire 100,000 military veterans over the next five years. the retailing giant said it will offer a job to any honorably discharged vet in the first year after active duty. wal-mart also announced plans to buy an extra $50 billion in u.s.-made goods over the next decade. wall street labored today to make some gains, helped by upbeat retail sales numbers for december. the dow jones industrial average gained 27 points to close near 13,535. the nasdaq fell six points to close at 3110, as apple stock again slipped lower. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: there are two voices in on ongoing debate about gun control. several states are moving ahead with bills targeting gun sales. on monday delaware officials outlined a series of proposals including requiring background checks for private firearms sales, banning the sale, manufacture, delivery and unlawful possession of military-style assault weapons
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and large capacity magazines and outlawing the possession o a firearm within a thousand fet of a school. delaware's governor, democrat jack markell joins us now. he also serves as the current chair of the national governors' association. governor, welcome. two years ago you tried and failed to pass a law requiring new background checks on private sales at gun shows. do you think that newtown changed the politics of gun control so dramatically that you can now pass even greater restrictions? >> well, i think it may have. that's exactly what we're trying to do. two years ago i was probably only govern the countryto add vaps any gun safety legislation. i introduced four bills three of them got passed. one of them about reporting to to those with mental illnesses to the national database. that's made a big impact. as you mentioned the one that failed was the gun show loophole. but here's the bottom line. you know, if you go to a licensed dealer, you have to have a background check. 40% of sales people don't go
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through a licensed dealer. when you have 40% of sales not requiring that background check, the system is broken. we need to fix it. >> brown: do you support the idea of a statewide dabase? i note thatin myland,or example, governor o'malley is proposing a licensing provision for gun ownership that requires fingerprinting or in a police database and gun training courses. would you go that far? >> that kind of database is not something we really focused on here. certainly we do encourage people to take the hunters safety courses and the like. they're very well done. i think they're really important. but the package that we introduced the other day including the background check, including the banning of the high capacy magazines, those kindsf this we think e the right way for us to go here. >> brown: opponents, including the n.r.a., have already spoken out against many such things. the assault weapon ban. as an attack on the second amendment. how do you respond to that? and how do you explain that to
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citizens? >> this is really not about the... this is not any kind of attack on the second amendment. i support the second amendment. that's not what this is about. we can have a debate about these proposals. this is not a debate about the second amendment. as much as the opponents may want to ket so. that's what they tend to do. they try to, you know, get everything confused in saying that this is an attack on the second amendment that's not what this is. and the bottom line again, i mean, you know, it seems to me that if we require this kind of background check from a licensed dealer, that makes good policy. we ought to have the same kind of good policy if somebody wants to get a background check elsewhere. right now somebody can try to get a gun from a licensed dealer, be turned down because of their background check, walk out and go to some somebody down the street, some prite sale and notave to hav t same kind of background check. that doesn't make any sense. these high-capacity magazines, not used... they also don't make
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sense. what we've proposed is the ban on the sale, the transfer, the delivery and also you can't have a one of these high-capacity magazines in proximity to a gun that's capable of accepting them if you're out in public. this is not about second amendment. this is about common safety legislation to help make people safer. by the way, it's n just about guns. i'll dogy ste o the state speech in a couple days. we'll be talking about an increased focus on mental health. last year we started a package to go toward the issue of school safety and making our schools safer. so there are a number of pieces here but the gun piece is important. and again some of the opponents will try to, you know, mix it all up, make it something that it's not. >> brown: on the mental health issue, again i was looking at the new law that is being put forward in new york. now that would require mental health professionals to rport tientso mtal heth
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authorities, patients who are considered likely to harm themselves or others. that would raise various confidentiality privacy issues, of course. would you go that far? what do you want to see done? >> our proposal again, our proposals have not taken that step. what we did a couple years ago is we required reporting to the national database from the appropriate cases here in the state of delaware before we weren't reporting any cases because state law didn't allow it. now we'rectually secondn the count inerms of reporting these folks to the national database. it's safe. it's appropriate. we think that's the right way to go. >> brown: what about the proposal you're putting forward to ban guns within a thousand feet of schools? now of course you've seen the n.r.a. come forward and say that there should be armed guards in every school. you sound like you're taking almost the opposite effect. , opposite approach. >> we certainly don't think the armed guards in every school makes any sense.
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for lots of reasons. i mean what happens, are you going to put an arme guardt every orwa are you going to put an armed guard outside of every classroom? what happens when they have to go to the rest room? what happens if they're going to lunch? that doesn't make any sense. similar school in delaware do have school resource officers. those decisions are left up to local schools and the local districts. >> brown: i did polls today that suggested that while many people are more supportive of having more gun control legislation, a majority also seemed to support the idea of having some kind of armed guard in schools. >> again, these are decisions that are left up, i believe, well to the local community. as i saidrobably 20, 25, 30 schools in delaware have what we call our school resource officers. in the schools. again, this is not just about guns. even on the mental health side, the mental health piece is not just connected to guns much it's about making sure that more of our young people have access or are being diagnosed with mental health issues and then have
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access to treatment as well. >> brown: let me ask you to put you into your role as head of the governors association. looking nationally. the states we're talking about today who are sort of moving forward, yours, mryland, new york, the blue states. other states we've seen, some moving in the opposite direction. from yours. are you seeing when you talk to other governors, are we getting to some sort of bifurcated system within the country where various states have very, very different regulations? >> you know, that's the beauty of our system. the states can be laboratories of democracy and they each can do what they believe to be appropriate for their state. this is not one o of the issues that i would expect the national governors association to come out with a uniform policyn. beuse i think there is probably significant disagreement amongst governors. that's true on a lot of issues. in this case it's something that will be left up to each state. >> brown: with the president coming out tomorrow, what do you want from him?
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listening to you, would it in a sense be better to have the states go first as a kind of experimenters, as you put it? >> i actually think on a lot of these issues from my perspective, you know, having a national law make sense because people can go from one state to the other so easily. i'm very interested to see what the president announces. i know vice president biden has been working very hard. i believe greatly to his credit he's reached out to governors of both parties across the country as well as so many other groups to find out what's working in our state. for example, i did send him information about the work we've done in delaware around school safety. the work we've done in delaware around report to go the national database. i think some of these things probably make sense from a national level. but some of other things may make sense at the state level. >> brown: governor jack markell of delaware, thanks so much. >> thank you. woodruff: we had expected to be joined now by david keane president of the national rifle association. but there's been a mix-up in
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getting him to our studios. we will have that interview soon. >> brown: in the meantime online we feature young voices in the gun control debate. high schoolers from our student reporting labs and their solutions for making schools safe from gun violence. >> brown: next, to a remarkable turnaround in the nation's most populous state. last week, california governor jerry brown proclaimed his state's huge budget deficit had disappeared. but some politicians in the golden state are skeptical. newshour correspondent spencer michels sat down with brown in san francisco. his report is a co-production with our colleagues at kqed-san francisco, and begins with some background on the fiscal troubles and the budget fix. >> reporter: california's sorry financial state and cuts made to health and welfare programs have prompted nearly nonstop
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demonstrations at the state capital in recent times. those protests got going four years ago when california and its then governor republican arnold schwarzenegger faced a staggering budget deficit of $42 billion. the recession, built-in spending, a large population in need of state services like health and welfare, a limit on property taxes, plus republican legislators' refusal to raise taxes created a dilemma in the world's ninth largest economy. with budget cuts coming like ock work, the state's college and university systems declined in offerings and in reputation. schools suffered cutbacks in personnel and programs. services for the poor were trimmed by $15 billion since 2008. state workers were furloughed. then in 2010, promising to use his long honed political skills to fix the state, jerry browne, a democrat, was elected
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governor. 30 years after he held the job in the '70s. he faced a $26 billion deficit and started making more cuts and changes like transferring inmates from the state's overcrowded prisons to county jails and closing down local redevelopment agencies using the money for the state budget. meanwhile, the economy started to improve in fits and starts bringing in more tax revenue. but it all wasn't enough. brown proposed to california voters a measure to raise income taxes on the wealthy and sales taxes for everybody. to the feun of $5.6 billion. brown campaigned vigorously from what was called proposition 30 in last november's ballot. >> let's hold up our signs. just a little bit. make sure everybody sees who we are and why we're here. >> reporter: the measured passed with 54% of the vote. california voters had actually agreed to tax themselves.
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with that new money beginning to come in and the recession fading a bit and previous cuts in effect, brown could declare last week that the budget deficit had vanished. >> right nofor the next fr years, we're talking about a balanced budget. we're talking about living within our means. this is new. these are breakthroughs. >> reporter: brown proclaimed that california is finally spending less money than it takes in. a few critics said the governor had used fiscal tricks to achieve the balance. we asked him about those charges and if his budget really solved california's problems. governor jerry browne, thanks very much for talking to us. is the budget really balanced? is the deficit gone completely at this point? >> theudget is fixed. i inherited a $27 billion deficit. that's what it was two years ago. that's gone. this budget will be balanced. now is it safe from any
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contingency? no, the world is changing and turbulent. is it going to get worse? then we'll get less money. number two, the federal government often blocks budget reduction that we make in the social services. sometimes we win. sometimes lose. number 3 we're goingto be part of the health care act, president obama's health care plan by expanding our medi-cal program to low-income families. he is promising 100% of the co cost. now, what if, because of the cliff negotiations and the debt, maybe they'll renege on that. >> reporter: you're being kind of careful here. >> what i'm saying is that people need to understand that a budget is like a piggy bank. the money is in there. no, the money comes in every sniesm day and thepending goes out every day we e in a position for the first time in 15 years where we can say this year's budget will be balanced and the next several
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years' budgets, they will also be balanced. >> reporter: you sound though almost dismissive of people who are poor and people who need the state's help and all kinds of things that have been cut. you're almost saying, well, it's more important to cut the budget than it is to really worry about those folks. >> are you serious? what you're saying is we should lie to people and say we have money d then spend money we don't have and then in two years cut the programs that we just spent for the same people. that's the boom-and-bust. the roler coaster. up and down, up and down. that's what's been going on. it's not fair. so what i'm trying to do here is is recognize california as a very compassionate state. we spend more than twice as much as other states do on dependent families, essentially our welfare program. we have more money going to child care. we have more money going to many
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of these things to bolster the safety net and do compensate for the ravages of the world economy. i didn't come back the second time to be governor to be part of some mask raid. i'm here honestly to fix the budget now and over the long term. >> reporter: the interesting question i think from a national standpoint is how did you do it? and is what you did transferable to the national government where those same forces have worked? where the's gridlock in vernment? >> well, one the national government needs to stimulate the economy in the short term. just austerity will never allow us to climb out of this hole of borrowing and debt and up employment. but what i did was i cut $3 for every dollar that we got in taxes from the proposition 0. we cut the university's 25%. we cut child care. we cut all the good programs
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because government doesn't do that many bad things. we cut the prisons. government does public safe. it does education. it does programs for the children, for the elderly. so what you refrench in government you cut the good which in many respects is a bad. i mean is there a lesson here for the national government and the national politician? >> well, the lesson is one that you've got to make tough choices. you have to live within your means. that means you have to not do everything you want to. but you also have to raise more money. we did raise a tax on all citizens called the salesax, a quarter ofent. and we raised the tax on individuals who make more than $250,000 or couples who make more than $500,000. so that's what we did. there's no doubt america is overcommitted. we're overcommitted abroad with our several hundred drid military installations. we're overcommitted in our borrowing 40 cents for every
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dollar. >> reporter: answer me a question about the ideology and the gridlock between republican and democrats? it seems to be parallel to what's goi onn the uned statescongss at the same time. >> well, in california through the initiative process, the republicans refused to give me even a two-vote in each of the houses to put my tax. not into effect but before the people or judgment had a statewide election. they wouldn't do it. so i had to go to the people directly through the california initiative. they voted by 55%, saying, yes, raise these taxes and help our schools and help our niversitie so tt watheay t break the log jam. >> reporter: are you saying that's the only way to get some meeting between the two parties? >> no. reporter: which isn't really meeting. >> other than violence. how else can you get it? i took the republicans to my law
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office in sacramento on more than one occasion. i got them expensive wine. i met their wives i went to their homes and offices. they came down to meet with me on sunday morning, in the evening. here's problem. the republicans are in different localities than theemocrats. they're not even in san francisco. they're not in los angeles. they're in fresno. they're in bakersfield. those people in that community are more conservative. they don't want any taxes. the tax word is very powerful. for the republicans they're doing what their neighbors and constituents want. >> reporter: it doesn't sound like you think at least on the state level and maybe on the federal level that this ideological split, the republicans, democrats, at a party and so for it dsn't sound like you have a lot of hope that that could be bridged. >> i'm a very hopeful person and i'm optimistic about california
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that we found a way around the log jam. but i have to tell you the ideology of the republicans is different than the democrats. they don't mind the inequality. or they believe by giving more money to the most well off that it will trickle down and everyone will get better off. yes, america is facing not a problem but a crisis of governing. if wean'overme ihen we had deteriorate and no longer be a world leader. >> reporter: it's that serious? and just one question. you reported you had prostate cancer. >> yes. reporter: how are you doing? i'm doing well. ask me in 20 years. >> reporter: things are good? things are good. they're great, as a matter of fact. you know, let me tell you something. i'm going to be 75 in april. it's not like being 55 or 45. you get older. you can't run as fast. you have to watch your diet a little more. that'just the way is. but i will tell you in my life
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i've been able to devote a lot of time to studying california, to studying how its process of governance works. i really feel more equipped, physically, intellectualally, and spiritually to do this work than i ever have at any other time in my life. >> reporter: jerry browne, governor of california, thanks very much. >> woodruff: you can read more of >> brown: you can read more of spencer michels' interview with jerry brown, including the governor's thoughts on a multibillion-dollar high-speed rail system in california. that's on our web site. >> woodruff: now, we look at the grim aftermath of a decade of war, which has placed great stress and strain on the u.s. military. ray suarez has the story. >> suarez: the statistics are stunning. according to the associated press, suicides among active duty troops reached a new high last year.
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the suicide rate has been rising since 2001, and last year, 349 service members took their lives, much more thathe 5 killein comt in afghanian. the suicide figures are tentative pending completion of pathology reports later this year. for a look behind the numbers, we turn to doctor stephen xenakis, a retired army brigadier general who had a 28 year career as an army psychologist. he heads the center for translational medicine, where he treats returning soldiers and marines. doctor, want to begin again witthat statistic. more rvice people died by their ownand lastear than re killed in action with the enemy. have we ever seen anything like that before? >> not that i know of. at all. this is a rising trend. it's an uptick that over the past several years where we've seen more and more soldiers take their lives with suicide.
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unfortunately also die in other accidents. it's the tip of an iceberg of a bigger problem affecting the force at large. it's been under stress for cumulatively ov the pastten years. >> suarez: why is this suicide rate now persistently high when the wars themselves in iraq and afghanistan have been winding down? >> we've seen this before. we saw it 20 years ago. in the first gulf war. we even saw it after vietnam. i mean, the issues of medical health, of personal stress, of family stress, in fact, go up after the actual fighting has stopped and the soldiers redeploy. they're back in garrison. beuse the force is still under a lot of stress. we find now in fact that the military is about to get into this phase of downsizing, probably 100,000 or so army soldiers and marines will be leaving the military.
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there are going to be budget cuts. all these things are putting great burden on the leadership and great burden on the soldiers on the front lines. that accumulates and builds and it ends up that you've got that group that, in fact, will hve to commit suicide as their expression of that stress. >> suarez: is that acculumation of factors why you say that the number is actually going to go up before it goes down. >> i think for the next two or three years we're going to see even a trend go even higher. >> suarez: if someone is observed or in fact reports that they themselves are having troubles, suicide, playing around with guns, inability to sort of pull it together after they return to the united states. are they given long-term treatment or are they removed from the service? >> ll, both. interestingly and sadly over half the people who commit suicide have already seen mental
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health clinicians. you know, the treatment, i'm sure these people are doing their best that they can. the effectiveness varies. these are tough problems. you know, the soldiers have themselves under... have really been affected by a number different stresses. it's not just the emotional ress of combat and seeing their fellow soldiers killed and maimed. they've been exposed to i.e.d. blasts and have concussions. they have had their sleep patterns are very disturbed which causes some sort of psychiatric and psychological difficulties. they're exposed to toxins. they come home to family situations. and they're young people. young people have a lot of ups and downs. so there's lots of different factors here. no one is the real rticar cause for these suicides.
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>> suarez: when the rates started to go up, did the officers who were closest to the men at the smaller units of the military get any training in what to look out for when people came back from action? >> there was some training. the army is very good at that. they clearly instructed them to look out for it and identify people and to send them. but it was not most important thing going on. i mean they were still fighting a war. a lot of the things that, in factcome to lightwhen you know th somebody is hang really serious problems end up not being seen. >> suarez: so what should we be on the lookout for? is there any way that's reliable to separate out, to keep an eye on people who may be in real trouble when they come back from active duty? >> there's not one real technique or tactic you can use. but we should recognize that this is an epidemic in the sense
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that it's across the army. the whole army has been and the ma reeb corps and other servies have been under a lot of stress. the focus, i think, is on changing the culture. and bringing in the spotlight on to the individual and everyone being concerned for the kinds of stresses that they're showing and that may lead to the various problems. i mean there are problems of misconduct, with family abuse, with drug and alcohol abuse, with sexual assault. there's all sorts of things that really end up being the signals of these tenears of war and stress on the individual. >> suarez: quickly before we go, do we have to keep an eye, keep in contact with people who served in combat? longer to make sure that they are okay in the years that follow long after this? >> i think absolutely.
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in fact, it may not... a soldier or a marine may not in fact start to show the bad effects and the stresses for months or years afterhey have, in fact, terminated their service. >> suarez: dr. xenakis, i misidentified you as a psychologist. you are a psychiatrist. >> suarez: online, meet three veterans whose lives have been changed by war. photojournalist lori grinker profiles service members dealing with p.t.s.d. >> woodruff: we come back to the gun story. we're joined by david keane president of the national rifle association. weome thenewshour. >> thank you for having me. woodruff: earlier on the program we heard from the governor of delaware jack markell who said that the i didn'tics who argue that what they're trying to do by limiting gun violence and say that it's an attack on the second amendment are not right.
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he said what we're simply doing are common sense safety measure s. that's what michael bloomberg says. no it is an attack on the second amendment. it is an attack on those americans who purchasedded and legally use firearms, who never committed a criminal act, who have never done anything wrong. they can say that it esn' infnge upon tir rights but in fact it does. now every amendment the first amendment you can't famously yell fire in a crowded theater. the second amendment is also subject to reasonable limits. the supreme court has upheld that. but they're strictly looked at. you have to demonstrate that they really impact things and that they're really necessary. and the problem that we have is that none of the things that they've suggested are going to do any good. they're asking the question, judy, what do we do about gun the question should be what do we do t prevent the kinds of things that happened in connecticut? we don't think that they're asking that question but they're
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pursuing their own agenda. >> woodruff: they say that's what they're doing. >> i know they do. woodruff: gabrielle giffords the former congresswoman who was gravely wounded, mark kelly her husband they wrote an op-ed article. they say people who are just... he said special interests have cast simple protections for our communities as existential threats to individualliberties. they y as a result more people are vulnerable to gun violence. >> you know, they're talking about what they call assault weapons. actually an assault weapon so-called was not involved in the giffords' shooting but the fact of the matter is that we heard time and i'm again that these are military weapons designed for the battlefield. they're not. they're semiautomatic commercial rifles. the ar15 is the best selling long gun in the united states. there are over three million of them that have been purchased by people. most people that have them use them for sport shooting, for hunting and for the like. to take those guns away from
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them for no reason is an infringement on their rights. >> woodruff: so the mother of one of the victims in aurora colorado was visiting newtown just yesterday, and she specifically talked about the ar15 assault weapons. she said they don't belong in the hands of people in the community. what do you say... her name is... >> it was interesting, judy. anybody who dies in a tragedy whether it's an auto accident or beaten to death or knifed or killed by a gun, it is tragic. i can understand her reaction that. but in this country last year more people were, in fact, beaten to death than killed by all long arms including assault, so-called assault weapons. the semiautomatic rifle has been in this country and available to people since 1806. in our museum we have won that fired 20 rounds from a magazine, a magazine that would be banned by some people, that lewis and clark took with them on their
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expedition. it's been that long and we're talking about something that has no impact. we've tried to do that as a soety before. it hasn't made any difference. >> woodruff: we can argue about the statistics. >> people do that. woodruff: what is out there, 70% of the violent deaths last year were due... had a gun involved. but specifically, david keane, what about what we're hearing from the president, that there be an attempt to ban the assault weapon, that there will be a proposal for comprehensive background checks. is there any common ground between the position of the n.r.a.... >> yes, there is common ground. it's not on banning rifles that we don't would make any difference. and it's not on setting up a national gun registry. but we have for 20 years been asking that those people who have been adjudicated to be mentally potentially violent be put on the list of people who are not allowed to buy firearms. when you go into a store to buy a gun or if you go to a gun show to buy a gun from a licensed
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dealer they have to check your background. the f.b.i. keep data bays of people who are not allowed to buy guns. felons and the like. we've been urging that these people be put on these lists. nothing has happened. 2 states don't put any on the li. one of the things we have to do is keep firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. we can do that partly in that way. the problem is you can never predict in a society who is going to do what. you also have to provide security. that's what we've been proposing in terms of the schools. >> woodruff: that's why... and you mentioned mental illness. that is something the administration is going to talk about. maybe there's some common ground there. when it comes to putting armed guards, governor markell said earlier on the program to he said how would you know where to put guard? how many to put? he said it's really an impractical thing. >> i don't think that it's impractical. just by coincidence i was in israel the day after the newtown shooting. i was touring a facility where
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they in fact train guards for their schools. they had a spate of shootings in the 1970s. their crazy people are a little different from ours but the results were the same. they first used volunteers. now each school provides its own private security guards. it works there. it was a sensie thing for them to do. terolumbe, president clinton prepare proposed what he called the cops program. and about 28,000 schools in this country now either have police through that program or police that are paid for by state or private security guards. those schools have... and it is... the argument against it is just what you said. but the fact is if you look at the people who do this, firsally dereininged. secondly, they're cowards. the fact that there's somebody armed there will prevent them in most cases from doing anythin do we live in a perfect world? no. but we can do what makes sense to protect our kids. >> woodruff: speaking of what's
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not perfect. what about trying some of the solutions that the folks who are saying they're not trying to attack the second amendment, they're saying they simply want to make... they want to reduce gun violence. why not try reducing high capacity ammunition clips? why not try a ban on assault weapons? >> we tried a ban on assault weapons. remember, judy, that an assault weapon has to be listed because there's no functiona difference between a so-called assault weapon and any other semiautomatic rifle. so this time they're saying, well, if it has a pistol grip it's danger ow. if not, its isn't dangerous. that's absurd from a functional standpoint because it's the same gun, the same rifle. in only difference is cosmetic. banning something for cosmetic reasons is is not going to cure the problem. >> woodruff: you're not sayin saying... couldn't reasonable people sit down at the cable and come up with a solution that would satisfy your organization and would satisfy those who say
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we've got to make it safer? >> that's why we went to the meeting with vice president biden. you know, before that meeting, the vice president himself and those speaking for him said we're open minded. we're going to discuss this. we got to the meeting. one of the first things he said was the president and i have strong feelings about firearms and nobody is going to change our mind on that. we're going to pursue what we want to pursue. fine. they had the meeting so they could say, oh, we talked to the n.r.a. >> woodruff: i happened to talk to someone in the white house because i had heard you say something similar to that on another interview. they say that's not what was said in the meeting. >> let me say one other thing. in the last year, 77,000 people who were on the prohibited list tried to buy firearms. that in itself is is a crime. you know how many have been prosecuted? 70. when that was raised at the meeting the attorney general said we don't have the resources and the time to be going after those people. those people who the potential criminals who were trying to keep the guns out of the hands.
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the government doesn't have time to do anything about them. they do have time to prohibit legitimate citins from holding firearms. >> woodruff: new polls show that even in gun owning households people are saying by large percentages we need to do something about high-capacity ammunition clips, assault weapons, background checks. >> interestingly the gallup poll showed no change at all on the so-called assault weapon question. i consider that evidence of the fact that people are smarter than politicians. but given the publicity and everything i'm surprised that there hasn't been more of an immediate reaction but when we get into this, when we begin to discuss it and remember it's sort of deja-vu because we've had some discussion before. once the discussion takeslace and people think about the substance of it, i'm confident that the judgment of the american people is going to be as it was before. that is that second amendment rights should be protected. criminals should be prosecuted. we should strengthen the ways we keep guns out of the hands of people who have no business buying them.
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>> woodruff: david keane, president of the n.r.a. we thank you for being with us. >> my pleasure, as always. thank you. >> brown: finally tonight, as president obama prepares to begin his second term, "frontline" looks back at his first four years in office. the key moments and decisions that defined the president's first term are the subject of a one-hour documentary airing tonight called "inside obama's presidency." this excerpt explores the brutal economic conditionsn the days following his 2008 victory celebration in chicago. >> if he had any idea that night how difficult this would be, the next day would prove it. >> so much for that election day euphoria. >> the economy has now lost 650,000 jobs just in the past three months. >> all eyes now on barack obama to turn it around. >> reporter: the cascade of bad news began with the economy.
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>> and fear swept through the markets. >> he had to start thinking about this the day after he was elected. >> this was the most event until and consequential presidential transition in american history. >> we were all worrieded about what we were seeing. we knew that the credit system was pretty quickly headed war somhing that looked a lot like seizure. >> the president-elect was told in the two months since lehman brothers crashed the panic on wall street had only gotten worse. >> what we are saying was something that really had never contemplated, never experienced. >> reporter: unemployment was nearly 7% and climbing. the stock market was down more than 6,000 points. >> there was a growing sense of calamity. this could be the most climactic economic crisis in all of american history. we were that cse to a cmple meltdown. >> obama at that moment gets a real glimpse of the future.
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disaster is coming. >> at the end of the conversation there's basically no bright spots. i say to the then president-elect, wow, that had to have been the worstate economic briefing a new president's had in almost a century. >> the president says that's not even my worst briefing this week. >> brown: "frontline's" "inside obama's presidency" airs tonight on most pbs stations. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. president obama made ready to announce his strategy for cutting gun violence, as new york state's legislature enacted the toughest gun law in the country. former cycling great lance armstrong reportedly admitted to doping during his career during an interview with oprah winfrey. online we have the story of a boston eatery where second chances for employees come with a side of slaw. hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: haley house has
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served time for weapns violations, drug trafficking, even murder. now, they're serving up lunch, and redefining their lives while working at this popular neighborhood restaurant. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll have full coverage of president obama's push for new gun laws. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> viking river cruises. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made
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possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macne
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